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Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Off to a Good Start: Balanced ATU Success!

2012 is off to a good start here at SolderSmoke HQ. I'm planning on putting up an 80-10 dipole fed with open wire (window) line. So I need a balanced ATU. A very simple link coupled design appears in lots of the antenna books and handbooks (1980 ARRL Handbook page 19-8, RSGB's "Practical Wire Antennas" by John Heys, page 86): Just a series LC circuit in the primary and another tuned circuit with a split stator variable cap in the secondary. The junk box was VERY cooperative: I found a big tuning coil (or might it have been two coils?) probably from an old Heathkit DX-40 or DX-60) -- that would work for the secondary coil. Then for the primary I found a smaller coil that would fit perfectly (with one layer of Gorilla tape) inside the secondary. I also found two really pristine 1000 pF air variables (I know, they can't handle much voltage, but, hey, that's one of the benefits of being a QRP guy, right?) I used the HW-7 as a signal generator and this morning did some experiments with different loads. You have to play around a bit with the taps on the secondary, but the ATU seems quite capable of matching loads from about 50 ohms up to at least 10K, and it works from at least 40 meters to 15 meters.

I found it very pleasing to see that SWR meter go down to 1:1. I'll now -- in the finest traditions of ham radio -- wait until the snow starts falling and the wind starts howling before I try to put an antenna in the trees.

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1 comment:

  1. That's a sweet looking tuner, Bill!

    Yes, you are blessed with fine antenna erecting WX back there. Out here we wait until the Santa Ana winds are blowing about 60.

    Heap good mojo.

    73.......Steve Smith WB6TNL
    "Snort Rosin"


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